By Sanna Camara
The secretary – general of the Angolan Foreign Ministry, and the secretary – general of the Africa Commission on Human and People’s Rights, have signed an agreement that will effectively move the 55th Session of the continental human rights commission from Banjul to Angola.
According to information reaching Gambia Beat, the Agreement for Reception for Technical and Logistics Organization of the 55th Ordinary Session of the organization, was signed by Eduardo de Jesus Beni and Mary Maboreke last week Thursday, in Luanda.
The Secretary-General of the Angolan Foreign Ministry announced that with the signing of the document, “the Angolan government will create the conditions to host the 55th Ordinary scheduled for next April”.
‘A prestige for Angola’
The Banjul-based ACHPR annually conducts two sessions, the last of which was held last November in Banjul.
Eduardo de Jesus Beni told journalists that the holding of the meeting in Angola will be a prestige for the country, given that the Government has been working for some time to host the event.
“I’m going back to the Commission with good news… the ground is prepared and all conditions are ready to carry out this 55th session,” said Zimbabwean head of the Commission, Maboreke Mary.
‘Violations can no longer be tolerated’
Observers consider this “a milestone for the human rights”, as campaigners have over the years mounted a serious campaign against the Gambia’s continuous hosting of the sessions “despite appalling human rights records”.
Angola has expressed interest in hosting the event, for the first time in its history.
“However, comparing the human rights credentials of Angola, they are no better than The Gambia. What is important in this is that it sends the signal that violations and abuses can no longer be tolerated,” said a political analyst.
Set the ball rolling
The commission’s leadership has always argued that countries have not been expressing interest in hosting the sessions, which was one of the reasons why it stayed in Banjul despite calls that it should be moved elsewhere.
Observers believe this move has set the ball rolling for rotational hosting of the session. Subsequently, the honour and privilege will be extended to only those with good human rights records.